Occurrence of overt seizures in comatose survivor patients treated with targeted temperature

Anda Eilam, Volodymyr Samogalskyi, Gennady Bregman, Sarit Eliner-Avishai, Ronit Gilad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Unconscious patients after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have a high risk of death. Therapeutic hypothermia is recommended by international resuscitation guidelines in order to attenuate secondary destructive physiological processes such as reperfusion injury, apoptosis, and cerebral edema. The target temperature to reach ranges between 32 and 34°C for at least 24 hr. Hypothermia can induce metabolic disturbances. There are some reports in the literature indicating the presence of seizures during targeted temperature management. On the other hand, postanoxic seizures are a sign of unfavorable neurological outcome. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of overt seizures in comatose survivor patients treated with targeted temperature in respect to overt seizures in a normal temperature group of comatose patients. Methods: This was a retrospective study of unconscious adults post cardiopulmonary resuscitation, hospitalized in the intensive care unit during the years 2008–2015. The patients were divided into two groups: those treated with hypothermia and those with normal body temperature. Both groups were evaluated for the appearance of overt seizures during their hospitalization which was the primary outcome of the study. Results: The data of 88 consecutive unconscious patients after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest were collected. Twenty-six patients were treated with targeted temperature (32–34°C) and 62 patients with normal temperature. In the hypothermic group, 6 (23%) patients developed overt seizures during hospitalization compared to 11 (17%) in the normothermic group. The mortality rate was similar in both groups, 16 (61%) in the hypothermic group and 38 (61%) in the conservative group. According to the present study, overt seizures were more common in the group treated with hypothermia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00842
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • hypothermia
  • mortality
  • postanoxic seizures


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